As A Feminist, I Think Everyone Should Stop Hating On Barbie
The first life-sized Barbie dreamhouse is opening in Europe this month. As a child I worshiped all things Barbie and would have gnawed off my own arm to go here. Apparently not everyone is viewing this icon with the same childhood wonder. A grass-roots feminist group based in Berlin is planning to protest the pink palace – labeling it a “sexist icon.”
From The Raw Story:
Just a few steps from Alexanderplatz, the main shopping district of east Berlin, the 2,500-square-metre (26,900 square foot) slice of Malibu lifestyle is nestled between a railway and old communist housing blocks.
Inside, young Barbie fans can pretend to bake cupcakes in a marvellous kitchen, rummage through her sequin-studded wardrobe in the blonde bombshell’s “endless” walk-in closet and lounge in her — pink, of course — living room while admiring hundreds of dolls on display.
I am a feminist. I understand what’s annoying about Barbie. No one human woman could ever have her figure and everything she owns is pink. I guess by that description alone, a self-proclaimed feminist like me should hate her. I should definitely hate the house. It costs 22 Euros to get in and they let you choose from two careers – model or pop star.
The male leader of the grass-roots group that is opposing the dreamhouse, Michael Koschitzki, says, “the vast majority of little girls play with a doll that, if she were real, would be anorexic and whose life would consist of waiting for Ken in the car.” I appreciate your feminist efforts Michael – but you’re wrong.
My Barbie was a bad ass. She owned her own hair salon and was a volunteer veterinarian on the side. She gave her other Barbie friends great advice and never took any shit from Ken. When they went on dates she always drove the purple corvette – and instead of waiting for Ken to open the door for her she hopped in it Dukes of Hazard style. When it came time for them to take their relationship to the next level – she proposed. It was a wildly attended ceremony. Strawberry Shortcake officiated.
A doll is a symbol of make-believe. Our kids pour their imaginations into that symbol. I think it’s damaging when kids aren’t explained that Barbie’s body type is not real. I also think it’s damaging when we lead our little girls to believe that if you like pink, sequins, make-up and lots of clothes – you cannot be a strong woman. I call bullshit.
I am definitely in the camp that says we need more body-positive dolls for young kids. But let’s stop hating on Barbie. She’s an icon – and she’s been an astronaut, a surgeon, an Olympic gold medalist, a UNICEF ambassador, a NASCAR driver, and a Presidential candidate – among other things. Let’s stop skewering her because of her ridiculously small waist and giant head. That kind of body-shaming is not very feminist.